Last Updated Jul 14, 2022, 5:39 PM

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Alejandro Kirk, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette
(Getty Images)

The Kansas City Royals will travel to face the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday evening in the opener of a four-game set. First pitch is slated for 7:07 p.m. ET from Rogers Centre. Coverage will be on each team’s regional sports channel as well as MLB.TV. 

The pitching matchup is still to be determined. The Royals are coming off taking three out of four games from the visiting Detroit Tigers from July 11-13. The Blue Jays had a two-game interleague series vs. the visiting Philadelphia Phillies before this set. They won the opener 4-3. 

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As of July 13, the Royals are last place in the AL Central standings. The Royals are 1.5 games behind the second-to-last Tigers. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are second to last in the AL East standings. The Blue Jays are only ahead of the Baltimore Orioles

Before the action on July 14, the Royals were 3-2 in their last five games. The Blue Jays are 1-4 in their last five contests. 

Prior to July 14, the Royals ranked 15th in batting average (.243), 19th in on-base percentage (.309), 23rd in slugging percentage (.379), tied for 25th in home runs (72) and 26th in RBI (327). Left fielder Andrew Benintendi leads the Royals in batting average (.317), on-base percentage (.386), and hits (102). Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is tops for the Royals in home runs (12) and RBI (45). 

Benintendi’s batting average is ranked fifth overall in the league. The left fielder will be sidelined for this set because of his vaccination status. In his last outing, Benintendi went 2-for-5 with a run and two RBI in a loss to the Tigers. 

The 22-year-old Witt Jr. is in his first pro season. The Texan shortstop is coming off a difficult showing in which he batted 0-for-4 with a run and a walk. 

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Leading up to July 14, the Blue Jays ranked second in batting average (.259), fourth in on-base percentage (.325) and slugging percentage (.431), tied for seventh in home runs (112), and 10th in RBI (389). Catcher Alejandro Kirk leads the Blue Jays in batting average (.312) and on-base percentage (.396). First baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is tops for the Blue Jays in home runs (19) and RBI (54). Shortstop Bo Bichette is first on the Blue Jays with 95 hits. 

Guerrero Jr. is the son of Baseball Hall of Fame member Vladimir Guerrero Sr. As of June 13, Guerrero Jr. has six hits, a double, and an RBI in his last five games. 

Kirk’s batting average is seventh in the league. The catcher went 2-for-4 with a run in the Blue Jays’ last game vs. the Phiilies. 

The Royals are 38-49 against the spread overall and 21-21 against the spread on the road. For over/under, the Royals are 43-41-3 overall and 21-19-2 on the road. 

The Blue Jays are 37-51 against the spread overall and 16-28 against the spread at home. In terms of over/under, the Blue Jays are 46-40-2 overall and 24-19-1 at home. 

The Blue Jays should kick off the series with a convincing victory over the Royals.

Written by Rolando Rosa, our US sports betting industry expert.

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